Connecticut House of Representatives

Connecticut House of Representatives (WTIC File Photo)

State House Approves Chief Justice Nominee

March 12, 2018 - 4:12 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC and AP) - The nomination of Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald to become the court's chief justice has cleared the House of Representatives. 

The final vote in the house was 75-74 in favor of the nomination, with two representatives not voting.

Earlier on Monday, members voted 79-69 to overturn an unfavorable recommendation by the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee, allowing debate to begin on Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's nominee. It has become one of the most politically charged judicial nominations in recent memory, complete with robocalls and TV ads.  

Veteran Republican Rep. Arthur O'Neill said he couldn't recall a time when the House has overturned an unfavorable recommendation of a nominee by the Judiciary Committee.  

McDonald has served as an associate justice for five years.  

If confirmed, he'd be the first openly gay state Supreme Court chief justice in the U.S. 

The nomination moves next to the state Senate, where McDonald also faces opposition from Republicans. 

The Senate is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, and one Democratic Senator has already announced she will not vote on the McDonald, because of a dispute she and her husband had with him in connection with a court case.

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